Services to At-Risk Youth (STAR) Program Evaluation

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1 Services to At-Risk Youth (STAR) Program Evaluation Criminal Justice Policy Council March 2003 Tony Fabelo, Ph.D. Executive Director

2 Services to At-Risk Youth (STAR) Program Evaluation To view or download this report, visit our website at Criminal Justice Policy Council P.O. Box Austin, Texas (512)

3 Researched and Written by Justin H. Brown Contributors Nancy Arrigona

4 Note from the Director This report examines the operations and impact of the Services to At-Risk Youth (STAR) program. The STAR program is administered by the Prevention and Early Intervention Services Division (PEI) of the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (TDPRS) and has operated since The program provides crisis services, family and youth counseling and skills training to select children and youth in all Texas counties. Participants are ages 7 to 17 and referred to the program for running away, truancy, family conflict, or involvement in an offense. STAR served 32,545 participants in FY 2001 with expenditures totaling approximately $20.6 million. Program participants were enrolled in the program for an average of 45 days at a cost of $ per participant. About two-thirds (65%) of STAR participants were referred to the program for family conflict, 16% were referred for an offense, 14% for truancy, and 5% for running away. STAR participants average age is 13.4 years, and about 6% are under 10 years of age. More than 8 in 10 participants are either Hispanic or White. Participants were referred to the program by a range of sources. The justice system (law enforcement, the courts, juvenile probation departments) referred 30% of participants and schools referred another 26% of participants, while family, friends, and participants themselves were the referral source for an additional 29% of participants. Participants are referred to the program with different problems and receive different services accordingly. Family conflict participants are, on average, two years younger than other participants. Overall, 54% of participants are male, but among runaway participants 67% are female. Family conflict participants tend to have longer service terms in the program and are enrolled eight more days on average than other participants. Runaway participants received residential placement more often than other participants, while offense participants received more skills training and family group counseling. Three outcomes were reviewed for the program: participant living situation, exit and follow-up survey results, and referrals to juvenile probation departments. The analysis shows that: STAR achieved one of the primary goals of the program by maintaining youth in their homes. 97% of participants who were living at home when they enrolled in the program were still living at home when they left the program and almost half of participants who were living outside the home at intake had returned to their homes by the time they exited the program achieving one of the main goals of the program. i

5 Note from the Director (Cont d) STAR participants families responding to surveys reported improvement in the participants both while in the program and 90 days after leaving the program. More than 80% of survey respondents indicated that STAR participants had shown improvement at follow-up. Follow-up results also revealed that participants who were enrolled in the program for longer periods of time tended to have more favorable follow-up results. Overall, 86% of participants enrolled for 61 days or more had positive outcomes, compared to 78% of those enrolled for 1 to 20 days. 83% of FY 2001 STAR participants eligible for referral to the juvenile justice system during the year following services were not referred to a juvenile probation department over the period. Almost three-quarters of participants who were referred to a juvenile probation department were referred for a misdemeanor or status offense. Participants who had been enrolled in the STAR program on multiple occasions were referred more often, as were participants who had received residential placement services. Overall, the three outcomes examined are positive. Our analysis suggests, however, that certain programmatic adjustments merit consideration. Offering program services over a longer term and providing more skills training may increase participants success. In addition, to prevent them from entering the juvenile justice system, it may be advisable to target higher-risk repeat program participants for more intensive services. Tony Fabelo, Ph.D. Executive Director ii

6 The STAR Program Is Administered by the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (TDPRS) Child Care Licensing (CCL) Child Protective Services (CPS) Prevention and Early Intervention Services (PEI) Adult Protective Services (APS) STAR Program The Services to Truants and Runaways program was created as a pilot program in 1983 by the 68 th Texas State Legislature. Still operating under the STAR acronym, the name of the program has been changed to Services to At-Risk Youth. Since its creation, the STAR program has been administered at the state level by the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services (TDPRS). Administration of the program within TDPRS shifted to the Prevention and Early Intervention Services Division (PEI) after PEI was formed in The Criminal Justice Policy Council (CJPC) has prepared a number of reports on the Prevention and Early Intervention Services Division and its programs. These reports are: The Prevention and Early Intervention Services Division: An Implementation and Status Review (March 2000) Monitoring Consolidation: Implementation of the Prevention and Early Intervention Services Division (Prepared for the 77 th Texas Legislature, 2001) Recommendations to Improve the Prevention and Early Intervention Services Division s Performance Measurement System (Prepared for the 77 th Texas Legislature, 2001) Proposed Changes to Prevention and Early Intervention Services Division (PEI) Program Performance Measures (January 2002) Evaluation of the Community Youth Development Grant Program (July 2002) This report is a component of PEI s ongoing program review process. 1

7 STAR Program Background Enabling Statute Texas Family Code Chapter 264, Subchapter D, Section Program Goal Program Expenditures To reduce and prevent problems of runaway, truancy, abandonment, family conflict, and delinquent behavior through the provision of timely and appropriate services to eligible youth and their families. FY 1999 FY 2000 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003 $21,001,750 $20,565,383 $20,399,949 $20,593,260 $22,121,420 (budget) The STAR program provides crisis services, family and youth counseling and skills training to select participants. STAR participants are referred to the program for running away, truancy, family conflict, or involvement in an offense. Certain restrictions have been placed on STAR enrollment and services to ensure that the program operates in accord with Child Protective Services (CPS) and other elements in TDPRS, when they are involved with the prospective or actual STAR participant or his/her family. If CPS is in the process of an investigation of abuse or neglect, STAR providers cannot proceed with intake of youth until the CPS investigation is closed. A youth with an open CPS case is not eligible for STAR services under the category of Family Conflict, but may receive services under another eligibility category. A youth in the conservatorship of TDPRS/CPS who is STAR eligible may receive non-residential services only. A youth in the conservatorship of TDPRS/CPS and in a facility with a licensing capacity of 13 or more is not eligible for STAR services. Other exclusions apply to whom STAR may serve and what services STAR participants may be eligible for. Youth currently on probation for delinquent conduct, on parole, or in the custody of TYC are not eligible for STAR services. Youth 7-9 years of age may not receive emergency residential placement. 2

8 STAR s Target Population Has Grown Since the Program s Inception Eligibility Criteria Age Range Eligible for Services, Eligible, Running Away Truancy Family Conflict Offense 7-9 Misdemeanor State Jail Felony STAR s service mandate has expanded over the years. When it was created in 1983, STAR services were targeted to youth ages 10 to 17 who were runaways, truant, or in family conflict situations. In 1995, the 74 th Texas Legislature expanded age eligibility by allowing youth 7 to 9 years of age into the program, and made 10 to 16 year-olds who had committed a misdemeanor or state jail felony and 7 to 9 year-olds who had committed a delinquent offense eligible for program services. The following groups are currently eligible for services: Runaways: Youth ages 7-17 who have left home without parental permission or have no known residence; youth ages 7-17 whose parents/caretakers have told them to leave or consented to their departure, have not permitted the youth to return home or not arranged for the youth s care after the youth has been absent from the home; youth ages 7-17 whose parents/managing conservators cannot be located. Truants: Youth ages 7-17 who have been voluntarily absent from school for reasons other than those accepted by the district where they are enrolled. Youth in Family Conflict: Youth ages 7-17 who request or whose families request services as a result of family conflict. Delinquent Youth: Youth ages 7-9 who have allegedly committed any delinquent offense; youth ages who have allegedly committed a misdemeanor or state jail felony and who have not been adjudicated delinquent by a juvenile court. 3

9 STAR s Service Coverage Has Been Expanded to Include All Texas Counties STAR services are currently available in all of Texas 254 counties. In 1983, the program served only 16 counties. TDPRS operates the STAR program through contracts with 43 service providers throughout the state. STAR s network of providers includes some service providers that collaborate in providing services within the same county and others that serve youth in as many as 30 different counties. Contracted STAR service providers may serve a primary county and one or more satellite and outlying counties. Satellite counties are counties in which the service provider has an office and employs one or more staff at least half time. Outlying counties are counties in which the provider has services available within the county on an as needed basis. In all geographical areas covered by a service contract, providers must offer: Crisis services within 24 hours of any request; Emergency residential services within a reasonable and accessible distance. STAR contracts are competitively awarded after a request for proposals (RFP) is issued. The initial two-year contract may be renewed by TDPRS for two more years without competition. All current STAR service provider contracts are due to expire at the end of August The STAR program RFP sets out maximum funding levels for different service areas and service modalities. Providers serving Dallas or Harris counties as their primary county may receive contract amounts totaling as much as $900,000. Providers serving Bexar, El Paso, Hidalgo, Tarrant, or Travis counties have a maximum contracted amount set at $600,000 for service to each. Providers serving other Texas counties as a primary county may receive as much as $300,000 for serving that county. Providers may receive additional funds up to $50,000 for each satellite county, and $25,000 for each outlying county they serve. 4

10 The STAR Referral Process STAR Service Providers Outreach Activities Referral Sources Youth Serving Agencies Law Enforcement Courts Schools Hotlines Other Private or Religious Entities Parent/Guardian Friend/Relative Self Referral of Select Youth STAR Service Providers Intake & Screening Process Core Services STAR contractors provide community outreach and accept community referrals to serve youth in at-risk situations while providing services to eligible youth and their families. STAR contractors promote program services to encourage eligible youth and families to access the program through outreach activities. At a minimum, outreach includes publicizing services to expand community awareness and coordinating services with other agencies in the service area. Referrals are accepted from the community as well as from law enforcement, the courts, juvenile probation departments, schools, CPS, and other youth-serving entities. Client eligibility screening and referral of ineligible youth and families to appropriate alternative services are available from STAR contractors 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A youth action plan identifying appropriate services and setting timelines for access to services is developed in the intake process. 5

11 STAR Program Services STAR Service Providers Crisis Services Other Services Intake & Screening Emergency Residential Placement Crisis Intervention Family, Group, and Individual Counseling Skills-Based Training Treatment Planning Mentoring Case Closure & Discharge Follow-Up Survey Referral Services Cannot Be Offered for More Than 180 Days in Any 12 Month Period 90 Days STAR services are geared at redirecting youth and families toward more positive pathways of functioning. STAR service providers place the highest priority on supporting youth remaining in their homes and the swift reuniting of out of home youth with their families. After completing the program intake process, STAR service providers quickly assess participants need for crisis services. If a need is found, crisis intervention and emergency residential placement are provided within 24 hours. Emergency residential placements are strictly limited to 60 days. No more than 50% of any contractor s program funds may be used for residential services. Other STAR services offered during program enrollment include: family, group, and individual counseling; skills-based training; treatment planning; and mentoring. Program services of any type may not be administered to any youth in excess of 180 days during any 12 month period. Participant family outcome surveys are conducted at program discharge and approximately 90 days after leaving the program. 6

12 Overview of Evaluation Methodology The evaluation of the STAR program focuses on the nature of program services, composition of those served, and the outcomes of participants as a means for assessing program effectiveness. STAR data from PEI s division-wide management information system, the Prevention and Early Intervention Management System (PEIMS) was analyzed. The analysis included all data present in the system as of July The numbers presented in the following section differ somewhat from previously published figures from TDPRS because of ongoing edits to records in the data system and the addition of records for previously served clients. Figures presented represent an unduplicated yearly count of participants receiving a STAR service at some point during the specified year. In instances where individual participants were enrolled in the program more than once in a fiscal year, individual level statistics were reported on their last period of enrollment during the fiscal year. The performance of STAR participants was also tracked using the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission s Caseworker System. 7

13 STAR s Average Cost Per Participant Reached a Three Year Low in FY 2001 FY ,675 Participants Average Cost Per Participant: $663 Average Time in Program: 44 Days Number of Service Terms: 33,629 FY ,074 Participants Average Cost Per Participant: $733 Average Time in Program: 50 Days Number of Service Terms: 29,561 FY ,545 Participants Average Cost Per Participant: $627 Average Time in Program: 45 Days Number of Service Terms: 34,916 The number of participants in the STAR program increased in FY 2001 after a drop the previous year. The number of STAR participants declined by 11% from FY 1999 to FY 2000 and then increased by 16% between FY 2000 and FY In FY 2001 the average cost per STAR participant was $626.82, lower than at any other point during the FY interval. A fraction of STAR participants receive program services more than once during a given fiscal year. As a result, there are more service terms than participants in each of the fiscal years presented above. 15.9% of FY 2001 STAR participants had a prior STAR enrollment. 8

14 Approximately Two-Thirds of STAR Participants Are Referred for Family Conflict Presenting Problems Age at Intake STAR Participant Breakdown FY 1999 FY 2001 Runaway 1,969 6% 1,606 5% Average Age Truant 3,820 12% 4,736 14% Average Age Family Conflict 22,612 72% 21,099 65% Average Age Offense 3,274 10% 5,104 16% Average Age TOTAL 31, % 32, % Average Age STAR participants are referred to the program with one of several primary presenting problems. These presenting problems have been classed into four groups: Running Away Truancy Family Conflict Offense Approximately two-thirds of STAR participants were referred to the program for family conflict. In FY 2001, family conflict was identified as the presenting problem of 65% of all STAR participants. The composition of STAR participants presenting problems has changed over time. Since FY, the share of participants referred to STAR for family conflict has declined by 7%. Participants referred to STAR for offenses have, in turn, grown to account for a 6% larger share of the total. Participants referred to STAR for family conflict are approximately 2 years younger on average than all other participants referred to the program. 1,923 or 5.9% of FY 2001 STAR participants were under 10 years of age. 9

15 Participants with Different Presenting Problems Are Referred to STAR from Different Sources PRESENTING PROBLEMS School System PARTICIPANT REFERRAL SOURCES, FY 2001 Justice System Self, Family, Friend PRS / PRS Contractor Other TOTAL Runaway Truant Family Conflict Offense % % 6, % % % 3, % 2, % 3, % % % 8, % % % 7.4% % 2.9% 1,407 2, % 12.2% % 4.6% 1,606 4,736 21,099 5,104 TOTAL 8, % 9, % 9, % 1, % 3, % 32,545 Similar proportions of the overall STAR participant population are referred by schools, the justice system, and the combination of family, friends, and STAR participants themselves. Together these three referral sources accounted for 85% of all participant referrals to the program in FY The four different STAR participant referral groups had distinct referral patterns. The majority of STAR participants referred for running away, truancy, or an offense were referred by the justice system (law enforcement, juvenile probation, or the courts). Family conflict participants, however, were referred primarily by schools, family members, friends, or STAR participants themselves. The percentage of all STAR participants referred by the justice system increased by 17% between FY 1999 and FY 2001, from 26.0% to 30.3%. STAR program registrations have historically fluctuated, especially between school and summer months. The overall reduction in the share of referrals from schools and increases in summertime referrals from other referral sources have helped stabilize monthly program registrations. An average of 2,910 participants enrolled in the STAR program each month in FY

16 Most STAR Participants Are Male, Although Most Participants Referred for Running Away Are Female PRESENTING PROBLEM PARTICIPANT GENDER, FY 2001 Male Female TOTAL Running Away Truancy Family Conflict Offense TOTAL 523 1, % 67.4% 2,528 2, % 46.6% 11,191 9, % 47.0% 3,356 1, % 34.2% 17,598 14, % 45.9% 1,606 4,736 21,099 5,104 32,545 STAR participants are more often male than female. 54% of STAR participants were male and 46% female in FY Truancy and family conflict participants have gender distributions similar to that of the overall STAR population, with male participants contributing to 53% of the total for those referral groups. Females accounted for more than two-thirds of participants referred for running away. Approximately two-thirds of STAR participants referred for an offense in FY 2001 were male. Male participants were younger on average than female participants. Male average age: 12.8 years Female average age: 13.1 years 11

17 The Majority of STAR Participants Are Hispanic or White FY 2001 Black White Hispanic Other* Runaway Truant Family Offense 15% 36% 46% 15% 26% 55% 15% 44% 38% 13% 34% 51% 3% 4% 3% 2% TOTAL 15% 39% 43% 3% * Includes participants of Unknown ethnicity. Hispanics are the most highly represented ethnic group among STAR participants. The majority of truancy and offense participants were Hispanic in FY Hispanics were also the most highly represented ethnic group among runaway participants. White participants made up a larger proportion of family conflict participants than any other ethnic group. More than 8 in 10 participants in every referral group were Hispanic or White. The share of STAR participants referred for an offense who were Black declined by more than a quarter from FY 1999 (18%) to FY 2001 (13%). Gender is distributed fairly evenly across STAR participants ethnicity. 53% - 56% of participants from each ethnic group are male. 12

18 STAR Participants Referred for Family Conflict Were Enrolled in the Program Longer Than Other Participants 60 Average Number of Days in Program Days FY Year Avg. 0 Runaway Truant Family Conflict Offense All Participants STAR participants who were referred to the program for family conflict were enrolled in the program for 8 days more, on average, than all other participants. The average number of days in the STAR program was lower in FY 2001 than in previous years for all participants except those who were referred for an offense. Participants referred for an offense spent 8% more time in the STAR program in FY 2001 than in FY STAR participants referred by the justice system were enrolled in the program for an average of 38 days, 9 days less than participants referred from other sources. Few justice system referrals are for family conflict participants the participant group with the longest average enrollment period. STAR participants period of enrollment varied somewhat depending on the kinds of services they received. Participants who received individual counseling were in the program for an average of 58 days, whereas those who received residential placement services were in the program for an average of 27 days. 13

19 Most FY 2001 STAR Participants Received Family and Individual Counseling Services Family Counseling Individual Counseling Skills Training Group Counseling Residential Placement Other* TOTAL Runaway Truancy Family Conflict Offense All Participants 1,374 1, % 66.8% 13.4% 5.7% 19.1% 0.4% 3,968 2,277 1, % 48.1% 24.0% 8.7% 0.7% 0.2% 17,069 11,287 4,156 2, % 53.5% 19.7% 11.7% 2.0% 1.1% 4,153 2,490 1, % 48.8% 39.1% 8.2% 1.2% 0.9% 26,564 17,127 7,503 3, % 52.6% 23.1% 10.4% 2.5% 0.9% 1,606 4,736 21,099 5,104 32,545 Note: Numbers refer to numbers of participants receiving a particular type of service. Because participants may receive multiple types of services, percentages do not add to 100%. * Other services include mentoring and testing. More than 8 in 10 STAR participants in each referral group received family counseling in FY Overall, a little more than half of STAR participants received individual counseling. A larger proportion of runaway participants (two-thirds) received individual counseling than STAR participants referred for other reasons. Participants with different presenting problems tend to receive a different array of services. When compared to STAR participants as a whole: Runaway participants were more likely to receive individual counseling and residential placement services. Truancy participants were more likely to receive family skills training and family group counseling. Family conflict participants were more likely to receive youth group counseling. Offense participants were more likely to receive youth skills training, family skills training, and family group counseling. 14

20 STAR Participant Outcome Analysis Participants' Living Situation at Exit STAR Participant Outcomes Exit and Follow-Up Survey Results Juvenile Probation Data Match First, outcome analysis examines how often program participants remain in the home. It is a stated goal of the STAR program to support youth continuing to live in the home. This analysis tracks participants who were and were not living at home when they entered the program and presents their status when they left the program. Second, outcome analysis focuses on exit and follow-up survey results. Program service providers survey participants families about their progress at two points, program exit and follow-up. Information reported by survey respondents is unverified. Third, outcome analysis matches STAR participant data to data from juvenile probation departments. FY 2001 participants referrals to juvenile probation departments were tracked for the year following STAR program exit. 15

21 Consistent with the Objective of Keeping Youth in Their Homes, A High Percentage of Participants Were Living at Home at Program Exit FY 2001 Participants* In Home at Intake 30,641 (94.3%) Out of Home at Intake 1,854 (5.7%) Remained in Home 29,635 (96.7%) Moved into Home 859 (46.3%) Moved out of Home 1,006 (3.3%) Remained out of Home 995 (53.7%) * Excludes participants without intake and exit living situation information. For this analysis, living at home was defined as living with a biological or adoptive parent or legal guardian. The STAR program has the stated objective of keeping youth in their home whenever possible. Approximately 97% of participants who were living at home at intake were still living at home when they exited the program. 46% of FY 2001 participants who started the program while living outside of the home had returned home by program exit. A very small proportion of STAR participants (less than 1%) live on the street or lack a stable living environment at program intake or exit. Among STAR youth served in FY 2001: 87 participants were living on the street or in an unstable living environment at intake into the program. Of these, 69 (79%) had moved to more stable living environments by the time they had exited STAR. A total of 238 participants were on the street or in unstable living environments at the time they left the program. 220 of these participants began living on the street or in an unstable living environment at some point during their participation in the STAR program. 16

22 STAR Providers Conduct Exit and Follow-Up Surveys of Participants Families to Track Outcomes STAR Providers Survey Phase Questions Response Classification Improved Did Not Improve Exit Did the youth run away during services? No Yes Follow-Up Has the youth run away since services were terminated? No Yes Exit Was the youth truant during services? No Yes Follow-Up Has the youth been truant since services were terminated? No Yes Exit Is family conflict situation: Better Same, Worse Follow-Up Is family conflict situation: Better Same, Worse Exit Since the youth's delinquent behavior, the youth has: Follow-Up Since the termination of services, the youth has: No More Known Offenses No More Known Offenses Committed Another Delinquent Offense, Been Adjudicated Delinquent, Been Arrested Committed Another Delinquent Offense, Been Adjudicated Delinquent, Been Arrested STAR providers survey participant families about youths progress at two points to gain insight into participant outcomes. Participant families are asked about the period that their child was receiving services when they exit the program, and about the 90-day period after program exit at follow-up. The time that a youth receives STAR services varies, while the follow-up period is always approximately 90 days. Indications about STAR participants progress can, in turn, be used to help answer a number of key questions about the program s effectiveness: Do STAR services improve family conflict situations and problem behaviors while participants are enrolled in the program? Do services have an enduring impact on participants and their families by affecting their behavior after they leave the program? 17

23 Follow-Up Surveys Are Completed for Almost Two-Thirds of STAR Participants PRESENTING PROBLEM Surveyed at Follow-Up Number FY 2001 Percent Total Participants Running Away % 1,606 Truancy 2, % 4,736 Family Conflict 13, % 21,099 Offense 3, % 5,104 TOTAL 20, % 32,545 In FY 2001, follow-up surveys were conducted for almost two-thirds of participants. 23% (7,503) of participant families did not respond to follow-up survey calls. In other cases, participant families could not be contacted because they moved or had changed their address and phone number after program exit. STAR service providers have increased the proportion of follow-up surveys conducted since FY More than half of all follow-ups were conducted for every referral group in FY 2001, whereas in FY 1999 follow-ups were not performed for half of the participants in any referral group. Follow-ups were conducted less frequently for participants referred for running away and truancy than other program participants. The families of program participants referred for an offense were successfully surveyed at follow-up more often than those of other participants. While follow-up surveys provide otherwise unavailable information, the significant number of participant families who do not respond to the surveys is cause for cautious interpretation of results. Exit survey data were available for all but a small fraction of FY 2001 participants. In all cases in which follow-up surveys were conducted, exit survey information was available. 18

24 Survey Results for Participants with Different Presenting Problems Should Be Considered Separately Exit and Follow-Up Survey Questions Intake Exit Did participant run away? Follow-Up Runaway Was participant truant? Truancy Is family conflict situation better? Family Conflict Was participant arrested or adjudicated, or did participant commit another offense? Offense Intake Exit Follow-Up Survey results for participants with different presenting problems should be considered separately because of substantive differences in both the nature of their problems and the structure of the survey questions. The problems of runaway, truancy, family conflict, and offenses do not recur with the same frequency among program youth. If they were measured against the same standard, we might expect that participants referred to the program for different reasons would have different rates of success or failure. The survey questions directed at participants families assess improvement for the presenting problem areas only. 19

25 More Than 4 in 5 Runaway and Truancy Participants with Follow-Up Survey Results Were Reported to Have Improved Intake Exit Follow-Up Avg. 36 Days FY 2001 Runaway Participants with Exit Survey Data 1,606 Improved 1,294 (81%) Did Not Improve 312 (19%) Improved 733 (46%) Did Not Improve 146 (9%) No Follow-Up 727 (45%) FY 2001 Truancy Participants with Exit Survey Data 4,736 Avg. 38 Days Improved 3,751 (79%) Did Not Improve 985 (21%) Improved 2,136 (45%) Did Not Improve 432 (9%) No Follow-Up 2,168 (46%) 81% of STAR participants referred for running away did not run away during their time in the program. 79% of truancy participants were reported not to have been truant while enrolled. Runaway and truancy participants with exit survey data were enrolled for an average of 36 and 38 days, respectively. Results for these participants were even more favorable during the follow-up period. Among those participants whose families responded to follow-up survey questions: 83% of runaway participants did not run away in the 90 days after services were terminated. 83% of truancy participants were not truant during the follow-up period. Overall, participants who had not shown improvement at program exit were 9% more likely not to have follow-up survey results than those who had improved while in the program. 20

26 Family Conflict and Offense Participant Surveys Report High Levels of Improvement Intake Exit Follow-Up Avg. 47 Days FY 2001 Family Conflict Participants with Exit Survey Data 21,096 Improved 15,426 (73%) Did Not Improve 5,670 (27%) Improved 10,840 (51%) Did Not Improve 2,607 (12%) No Follow-Up 7,649 (36%) FY 2001 Offense Participants with Exit Survey Data 5,099 Avg. 42 Days Improved 4,880 (96%) Did Not Improve 219 (4%) Improved 3,076 (60%) Did Not Improve 239(5%) No Follow-Up 1,784 (35%) Exit survey results for 73% of family conflict participants and 96% of offense participants were favorable. A significantly larger proportion of family conflict participants with complete survey information were reported to have improved family conflict situations at follow-up than at program exit. 81% of family conflict participants with complete follow-up survey data showed improvement at follow-up, 8% more than at exit. 7% of offense participants with follow-up survey results were reported to have been arrested, adjudicated, or to have committed another offense by the time of their follow-up. Fewer offense participants with follow-up survey information committed offenses in the follow-up period than during program participation. The follow-up period for these participants was, on average, more than twice as long as their period of program participation. 21

27 Participants Enrolled in the Program for Longer Periods of Time Had More Favorable Follow-Up Survey Results Impact of Program Time on Positive Follow-Up Outcomes Time in FY 2001 Program* w/ Follow-Up Improved Percentage Running Away 1 to 20 Days % 81.3% 21 to 60 Days % 61+ Days % Truancy 1 to 20 Days 2, , % 78.1% 21 to 60 Days 1, % 61+ Days % Family Conflict 1 to 20 Days 13,447 4,086 10,840 3, % 74.4% 21 to 60 Days 4,792 3, % 61+ Days 4,557 3, % Offense 1 to 20 Days 3,315 1,017 3, % 93.4% 21 to 60 Days 1,336 1, % 61+ Days % * Valid time in program data is not available for all participants. As a result, time in program subtotals do not sum to overall participant totals. Overall, 86% of participants who were enrolled in the program for 61 days or more had positive outcomes, compared to 84% of those enrolled for 21 to 60 days, and 78% of those enrolled for 1 to 20 days. Participants referred for running away, truancy, or family conflict had better follow-up outcomes the longer they were in enrolled in the STAR program. This was especially true for truancy and family conflict participants. Participants enrolled in the program for 61 days or more were reported to have improved 10% - 11% more often than participants enrolled for 20 days or less. 22

28 A Match with Juvenile Probation Data Showed that 17% of Participants Were Referred to a Juvenile Probation Department in the Year After Program Exit FY 01 STAR Participants 32,545 STAR Participants Who Entered and Exited the Program in FY 01 and Were Years Old During the Entire Year Following Program Exit 20,004 Eligible FY 01 STAR Participants Referred to a Juvenile Probation Department During the Year Following Their STAR Program Exit 3,421 (17%) To provide supplementary outcome information, a follow-up analysis on STAR participants was performed using juvenile probation data. Two criteria were used to select STAR participants for a match to juvenile probation data. First, participants had to have entered and exited the STAR program during FY Second, participants had to be eligible for referral to the juvenile justice system during the entire year following program exit. Because juvenile probation departments only accept referrals for juveniles ages 10 to 16, STAR participants outside of that age range were excluded from the match. Of the 20,004 participants matched against data from juvenile probation departments, 3,421 (17%) had a referral during the year following program exit. Referrals to juvenile probation departments are made by law enforcement, as well as schools and other community sources. Juveniles may be referred to a juvenile probation department for status offenses including running away and truancy. 23

29 Most STAR Participants Who Were Referred to a Juvenile Probation Department Were Referred for a Misdemeanor or Status Offense FY 2001 STAR Participants Running Away Truancy Family Conflict Offense TOTAL Not Referred Running Away Most Serious Referral Offense Truancy Other CINS A or B Misd. Felony Total Referred % 7.6% 0.5% 2.1% 18.9% 8.2% 37.3% 1, % 2.0% 1.5% 3.0% 13.9% 6.1% 26.5% 11, , % 1.3% 0.2% 1.4% 5.6% 3.5% 12.0% 2, % 1.2% 0.5% 2.6% 11.7% 8.2% 24.2% 16, , , % 1.7% 0.4% 1.9% 8.3% 4.8% 17.1% Participants Eligible for Referral 966 2,614 13,181 3,243 20,004 STAR participants who were referred to a juvenile probation department in the year after they exited the program were most often (72% percent of the time) referred for a Misdemeanor or Status offense. Misdemeanors and Status offenses accounted for most juvenile probation referrals for all STAR participant groups, regardless of presenting problem. 12% of family conflict participants were referred to a juvenile probation department following program exit, significantly less than any other STAR participant group. A larger proportion of runaway participants (37%) were referred to juvenile probation departments in the year following program exit than any other group of STAR participants. Runaway participants were more than 5 times more likely than other STAR participants to be referred to a juvenile probation department for running away, and more than 2 times as likely to be referred for an A or B Misdemeanor. Of those STAR participants referred to a juvenile probation department, 25% were referred for a violent offense, 31% for a property offense, and 12% for a drug offense. Violent, property, and drug offenses may be Felonies or Misdemeanors. 24

30 Participants Who Had a History of Prior Enrollment in The STAR Program Were Referred More Frequently FY 2001 Participants Not Referred to Juvenile Probation Referred to Juvenile Probation Total Eligible for Referral Previous STAR Enrollment No Previous STAR Enrollment TOTAL 2, % 24.3% 14,057 2, % 15.7% 16,583 3, % 17.1% 3,337 16,667 20,004 STAR participants who had been enrolled in the STAR program on multiple occasions were more likely than first time STAR participants to be referred to a juvenile probation department after program exit, regardless of presenting problem. Overall, participants who had a history of prior STAR enrollment were referred to a juvenile probation department 55% more often than participants without any previous STAR program experience. Repeat STAR participants were also more likely to be referred for more serious offenses than first time STAR participants. Participants who had a prior history of STAR enrollment were 61% more likely to be referred for an A or B Misdemeanor and 65% more likely to be referred for a Felony. Of those repeat participants with a juvenile probation department referral, 28% had been referred for a violent offense compared to 24% of first time participants. Repeat participants were, on average, half a year older than first time participants. The average age for repeat participants was 13.4, while the average age for first time participants was

31 Participants Who Received Youth and Family Skills Training Had More Favorable Outcomes Than Other Participants FY 2001 Participants Not Referred to Juvenile Probation Referred to Juvenile Probation Total Eligible for Referral Received Skills Training Did Not Receive Skills Training Received Residential Services Did Not Receive Residential Services 4, % 13.9% 11,658 2, % 18.4% % 33.5% 16,230 3, % 16.7% 5,722 14, ,473 16,583 3,421 TOTAL 20, % 17.1% Participants who received certain services were referred to juvenile probation departments in the year following program exit less frequently than those who did not. Participants who received either youth skills training or family skills training were referred to juvenile probation departments with less frequency than participants who did not, regardless of presenting problem. Family conflict participants who received youth skills training were referred to the juvenile justice system 40% less often than family conflict participants as a whole. Offense participants who received family skills training were referred to a juvenile probation department 23% less often than offense participants at large. By and large, participants who received residential placement services were somewhat more likely to be referred to a juvenile probation department than their peers. Residential placement services are the most costly services available under the STAR program and are provided as a crisis support for children and youth in critical need. STAR participants may receive both skills training and residential placement services, as these services are not provided exclusively. 26

32 Summary The STAR program provides a range of services to approximately 32,500 participants a year for an average of $627 per participant. STAR services include: intake, assessment, family counseling, individual counseling, youth group counseling, family group counseling, youth skills training, family skills counseling, mentoring, and outreach. STAR serves four principal groups of participants: participants referred for running away, truancy, family conflict, and offenses. These referral groups are distinct. Most STAR participants were referred for family conflict, but offense and truancy participants represent a growing share of the program s total participant base. Program services are not distributed evenly among the different referral groups. A number of STAR participants return to the program: about 16% of FY 2001 participants had a prior STAR enrollment. 94% of STAR participants live at home when they exit the program, a fraction (0.2%) less than do at intake. More than 80% of all participant groups are reported to have improved at follow-up in surveys of participant families. 83% of STAR participants were not referred to juvenile probation departments in the year following program exit. 72% of those who were referred to juvenile probation departments were referred for a Misdemeanor or Status offense. 27

33 Conclusions STAR service providers address different participant needs with different services over different terms of service. Participants with different presenting problems receive customized services. STAR service providers have reduced monthly fluctuations in participant registrations by altering the mix of participant referral sources. This should increase program efficiency by distributing workloads more evenly over the course of the year. STAR effectively supports youth remaining in the home. 97% of participants who enter the program while living at home, exit the program living at home. Nearly half of STAR participants who enter the program living outside the home, return to their homes by the time they exit the program. Follow-up survey results suggest that STAR services have a positive impact on participants. After initial progress during program enrollment, participants show increased improvement over the 3-month survey follow-up period. STAR participants enrolled in the program for longer periods of time, especially those referred for family conflict and truancy, have better outcomes. Participants from all referral groups who received youth skills or family skills training were less likely to be referred to a juvenile probation department within a year of exit. Participants who receive residential services are referred to juvenile probation departments more often than participants who do not, suggesting that contractors reserve these costly services for the most serious cases. STAR participants who had been enrolled in STAR on multiple occasions had less favorable outcomes than participants who had not, suggesting that STAR administrators should identify this group as a potential target for more intensive services to prevent these higher-risk youth from entering the juvenile justice system. 28

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